Sunday, May 08, 2011

True Hero

Saturday Leftover Day.

In WW II, while Jack Kirby was off to France freezing his legs off, Joe Simon had a more pleasant post, patrolling the New Jersey shores against invaders as a member of the Coast Guard's Mounted Beach Patrol. As a sideline, he worked on the newspaper Sunday strip True Comics. Together with Milt Gross, he created a comic book version called Adventure is My Career. The intention of both was to encourage youngsters to join the Coast Guard. What the precise relation between the newspaper strip and the comic book is, I don't know. But knowing Simon's tendency to ruse material, I wouldn't be surprised if some or all of it was reused material. I hope Simon's new upcoming bio will tell us more. To be complete, it should also account for two of these stories appearing in DC World's Finest #20 and 21 in 1946.

I have always been fascinated by this 'lost' newspaper strip by Joe Simon, the last large body of solo work he did (not counting his years on Sick). Unfortunately, I have never even found one sample of it, except for the Adventure comic book. So you can imagine my surprise to find two of these True stories published in a DC book a year later. Were they reused as well, or especially drawn? The first of the two is signed, but the second one is sufficiently similar in content and style for me to assume they are Simon's as well. Maybe Harry Mendrick, who is the formost expert on Joe Simon, can jump in here.


Harry Mendryk said...

I wrote about both in a blog post ( Yes they are both by Joe Simon but I do not believe either was originally intended for the newspaper strip.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

In the new bio Joe Simo mentions them as something he did before he worked on the special comic with Milton Gross. And he mentions that Milton Gross was someone else than Milt Gross, the cartoonist.